“I wish it didn’t have to be this way,” he lamented insincerely; barely audible over the rustle of fabric. The buttoning of buttons. His watch snaps closed.
“Sure you do,” she smirks; the first drag of a morning cigarette clawing at her throat, sharp and satisfying.
She exhales until he is barely visible through the haze. She rubs the light bite marks on her thigh.
The sun has barely shaken its veil of gin and jazz. It struggles above the horizon, announcing its distaste with an angry spray of crimson and gold.
The city is aflame, the end of her cigarette blends into the morning sky.
No one knows better than her the beauty of “this way.”
Casual encounters. Abbreviated passion. Uncompromised freedom.
She didn’t want to forget, but somehow, so few of them were memorable.
“I’ll see you again,” he says. Not a question. Not a statement.
The sound of the door is the only punctuation. Definite, regretful. Satisfied.
She ignores the chill of the September morning and lingers, naked, as the city comes alive.
“This” was the only way.
Light another cigarette.
What happens when one opts out of reproduction and throws herself into self-absorbed hedonism? They pack their cigarettes, thigh highs and trench coat and head for London town. These are the stories of the Barreness, our London correspondent. This piece was originally posted on her blog. Image based on a picture by Anirudh Koul.